Puzzle 826 - Carina Nebula

By Custom Puzzle Craft

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Puzzle #826 - Carina Nebula

As it happened (from my Journal archives)

June 9, 2009

Tuesday 6:07 am - Up early! I plan to start work on the June eBay puzzle today, preparing the board, printing and mounting and designing the border. Cutting will start tomorrow.

Ever since that weather front went through last week, we've had impressively clearly visibility, and yesterday a pretty nice sunset. Also of local note, for the first time in several months, I can see a construction crane from my apartment, hopefully a good sign about the economy.

Sunset yesterday

June 10, 2009

Wednesday 10:58 pm - Things have been delayed. I got the board prepared Tuesday morning - the puzzle will be large about 29" x 14". Tomorrow I'll print and mount the image, design the border and the figural set. Cutting currently scheduled to start Friday.

June 13, 2009

Saturday 4:25 pm - The border design for #826, Carina Nebula is complete, trick edges designed, and the figural set printed. All is now ready for cutting. Cutting will start tomorrow.

Saturday 8:36 am - Wheels of progress continue slowly, and progress is being made for #826, Carina Nebula. I printed the large print on Thursday, took over an hour to print at super high resolution, missed a dance class. Yesterday I mounted the print, and due to some warping, left the mount in the press overnight. Came out this morning nice and flat and the image mount is perfect. I've decided that the border is going to be a fairly complicated string of star shapes, the final design work is going to take quite a while as I want it to be very precise. I expect to complete the design work today, and I'll get some cutting in tomorrow. The puzzle will have just a few previously design figurals (Telescope, Shuttle and a Twirl Star) as well as a few intricate Creative style pieces mixed in with the Swirl Curl.

June 14, 2009

Sunday 6:07 pm - Cutting of #826, Carina Nebula is underway. I was at the shop for over five hours, about half the time working on the puzzle and the other half focused on the dire state of Mixed Media, cell-phoning a couple regular members. We have a rat / mouse infestation, I had to remove two dead mice today, won't go into some of the dreadful details of the situation at this time. My shop is unaffected. The resurrection of Mixed Media is going to happen, I plan to be pretty involved this coming weekend helping with a cleaning, disinfecting process, meanwhile I plan to develop "pert diagram" outlining a plan for the resurrection.

As for the puzzle, I did considerable initial cutting, nothing down to individual pieces. The border is going to be a bear, but this is what I have decided I want for this puzzle: 124 stars! I did five of the stars today.

Puzzle #826, edge design

June 15, 2009

Monday 8:11 pm - Got off to a late start, was at Mixed Media for about four hours. The initial cutting is now about half done, with 61 of the 124 border stars done. This is the first and last puzzle I'll ever cut this way, the stars take a long time! Tomorrow at 7am the road that goes by Mixed Media is going to be closed for "slurry sealing", so I'm going to get there super early and be "trapped" there all day - I should make major progress tomorrow.

The rat / mice infestation continues, I found and removed another dead mouse, and with mask on, did a lot of unpleasant cleaning and throwing out trash and junk from the little "computer room". There are still some areas that need to be addressed, I'm determined to turn the corner regarding this situation.

June 16, 2009

Tuesday 10:08 pm - Due to the road paving I arrived at Mixed Media super early - turns out the road paving was pushed back to tomorrow. I stayed there about nine hours, switching between working on #826, Carina Nebula and helping out with throwing a lot of rat contaminated items from the main area (for example all food in all cupboards). No more mouse bodies. As for the puzzle, I completed the border of 124 stars, finished the initial cutting with the board now cut in about 20 sections, then started detail cutting with about 45 pieces including the figurals and the signature piece.

I plan to get up super early again tomorrow, most of the day will be focused on the puzzle. My goal is to get at least 300 pieces done.

June 17, 2009

Wednesday 5:08pm - Puzzle marathon today, was at the shop for more than nine hours, mostly focused on cutting #826, Carina Nebula. Today I made good progress, cutting about 350 pieces, with about 600 to go. The puzzle is going to be quite difficult to assemble. The picture from a distance looks dull, but close up, the Carina Nebula is spectacular, full of complex formations. A picture may be seen here.

I won't be doing any cutting tomorrow as a dentist appointment, dance lesson, need to ship a poster to Russia, and other things will take up most of the day. Cutting will resume Friday and run through the weekend, possibly into early next week.

There is still a lot of work to be done at Mixed Media regarding the rodent situation and the aftermath of the plumbing disaster which took place earlier in the year. Progress is at a standstill, dependent on others. I've been doing a lot of work to keep the place together, today was the first day thoughts occurred to me that the place will fail.

June 18, 2009

Thursday 6:51 pm - Got all tasks done, plus with a couple hours to spare, managed to get in some cutting late this afternoon. Now about 45-47% completed and a lot more likely I'll get the puzzle done by the end of this weekend. I'm planning a long day of cutting tomorrow.

Mixed Media members: the paving in front is done.

June 19, 2009

Friday 7:11 pm - I was at Mixed Media for almost 10 hours today, about the first 2/3 of the time was spent on the rodent crisis, as I decided the "computer room" needed to be dealt with immediately. I removed all items except the refrigerator, cleaned and disinfected the floor and some other surfaces; I also purchased a lamp for the ceiling (the room has always been dark and gloomy) and installed it. I think with this effort, prospects are a lot better. My "rodent" work is now done until early next week when I'll help others with some tasks. There are numerous openings in the walls by which rodents can get in from the outside - the building is not "household" grade - all openings need to be sealed.

As for the puzzle, I'm now about 60% done, cutting going well. I still expect to complete the puzzle by the end of this weekend. Need a nap now.

June 20, 2009

Saturday 7:10 pm - Put in about six hours at Mixed Media today. Today, the room I cleaned yesterday smelled quite good relatively speaking! I noticed the bathroom still had "that smell", and I decided to investigate as Kim had cleaned it earlier. While scrubbing the floor I noticed three holes in the wall where plumbing had been repaired, one hole almost 6" across, the smell was wafting in from the holes. I then cut some puzzle wood and "Gorilla Taped" them over the holes, as a temporary solution. I'm now sure this is how the rodents got in to Kim's studio while she was gone, basically there was clear sailing from the bathroom holes, to the hall, to the large space under her door just a couple feet away. Shortly before I left, the odor in the bathroom was practically gone.

For completeness, I also checked the workings under the refrigerator and found a mummified mouse (mostly fur and bones) which I removed along with some other gross stuff which I cleaned.

I did get in some cutting this afternoon, doing about 160 pieces. I have "just" 230 or so to go and as I have nothing else planned for the day tomorrow, I should easily get the puzzle done. Cutting still going very well.

Puzzle #826 - Carina Nebula, in progress

I'm going to have a write-up about this nebula when I auction the puzzle, there are many very cool things in this picture, with some pictures on the web showing far more details of small areas in this picture.

June 21, 2009

Sunday 6:59 pm - Puzzle #826, Carina Nebula is done, will have more info tomorrow.

June 22, 2009

Monday 11:09 am - The auction for Carina Nebula will start late tomorrow afternoon and I'll have a write-up by then. The puzzle is excellent although I would have make it with a plain border if I had to do it over again, the border is "too busy". The puzzle is at the shop, needs a second coat of tung oil, will do that late this afternoon.

Meanwhile great progress has been made at Mixed Media. The results of my cleaning effort last week has made the place a lot better. Kim was there yesterday, removing very icky mouse affected carpeting from her studio closet and painting her studio floor. There is still a lot cleaning / maintenance work to be done overall, but the urgency of the situation has lessened dramatically, so I will pace myself more, going forward.

In the Puzzle Queue, I swapped the July and August eBay puzzles, the July puzzle will be the easier of the two (it will be the last Seewald puzzle within the 100 Puzzles Project), then August will be the ambitious "famous painting" Creative style puzzle.

I have decided that I will re-open for business, for Marriage Proposal puzzles only, in October, for one or two weeks, accepting up to a maximum of five orders. Custom Puzzle Craft will then re-close to new orders until the 100 Puzzles Project is finally completed in April 2010 (the date assumes I don't miss any months during the remainder of the project). After the project is completed, I'll re-open for business on a very limited basis, yet to be determined.

June 23, 2009

Tuesday 6:26 pm - Applied a second coat of tung oil on the back of Puzzle 826 - Carina Nebula. Puzzle is still at the shop; will take official photos, count pieces, launch auction tomorrow.

I spent a good part of the afternoon doing the Mixed Media kitchen. Some of the under-the-cabinets hadn't been cleaned for years. All done now; plumbing holes taped, other cracks silicone sealed, lots of trashy stuff tossed, for example, some moldy playing cards. There was a big box of Instant Sanka packets with an expiration date of November 8, 1995 in one of the cabinets! The place now smells quite clean, zero evidence of new mouse droppings in all the places I previously cleaned. Tomorrow Kim will finish the re-painting of her studio (that's the lower red dot) and I plan to spend a couple hours at Mixed Media patching some pipe holes in the computer room (the right red dot - also meant to include the kitchen area) and sealing a couple holes to the outdoors in the Common Room.

June 24, 2009

Wednesday 6:56 pm - The auction has been delayed again, will launch Thursday for sure. The puzzle is home now and I'm in the process of taking pictures and preparing for the auction. I slept a lot this afternoon, much needed rest after all the effort at Mixed Media.

I spent about three hours there earlier today completing my work in the Computer Room - some sealing, patching and screening of various openings. There is still some work to do in the Common Room but far less than any of the three completed rooms (the bathroom, kitchen and computer room) - this work will be done with others in the coming days. Meanwhile Kim painted a second coat on her studio floor, will take two days to fully dry before things from the Common Room can be moved back to her space, allowing for work in the Common Room. We both agree things have vastly improved.

After the Common room there is the flood damaged flooring in front Gallery room (currently raw concrete), plus a re-do of the flooring in the kitchen. We be hiring someone to do this.

June 25, 2009

Thursday 9:42 pm - The 90th Auction of the 100 Puzzles Project has finally been launched. Final puzzle piece count: 1003 pieces!

R.I.P. Michael Jackson - creator of some of the best club dance music ever!

June 26, 2009

Friday 10:02 am - I meant to include a picture of a box of the puzzle pieces in #826, Carina Nebula, in the auction but didn't get around to it. Here is a picture:

Puzzle #826, Carina Nebula, disassembled.

Note added Thursday 9:13 amJuly 23, 2009: Yesterday I found out that my picture of puzzle pieces in a box for #826, Carina Nebula, was chosen to be included in an online article about puzzling by Newsweek, the international edition. See http://www.newsweek.com/id/207384. The story was about three women who found some old wooden jigsaw puzzles in a vacation home, with a discussion of the history of puzzles being popular during times of major economic slowdown.

From the auction description:

This month's auction features a fabulous image created from 48 high resolution photos taken by the Hubble Telescope, added with imagery from other sources, of the Carina Nebula, a famous area within our Milky Way galaxy. Looking up Carina Nebula will reveal far more information about this Nebula than I will go into here, for example see Wikipedia's entry.

This ambitious puzzle is an excellent work, and contains 1003 pieces, my first puzzle cut in my Swirl Curl style with 1000 or more pieces. The puzzle contains about a dozen fancy Creative style pieces sprinkled around the image. There is no color line cutting as I wanted to preserve the natural boundaries of the various color areas as much as possible. The border contains 124 stars, a considerable effort to cut! There are a "few" more "false edge" stars in the interior! This puzzle includes my standard signature piece (signed, dated and numbered on the back) and a second piece marked on the back indicating the puzzle belongs to the 100 Puzzles Project. I consider this to be a difficult puzzle to assemble.

The back side of the puzzle was coated with two layers of tung oil.

Figural Set and a fancy piece
Figural encores from last month's puzzle

According to the Heritage Project, the image used for this puzzle combines many exposures from Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and Cerro-Tololo Interamerican Observatory's (CTIO) 4m Blanco Telescope and MOSAIC2 camera. 96 ACS exposures covering 48 separate, overlapping fields were made with a filter transmitting the light of neutral hydrogen (H-alpha). These combine to form a mosaic image of roughly 400 megapixels (0".05/pixel) spanning about 13x26 arcminutes on the sky. Images from CTIO were made using three narrow band filters: doubly ionized oxygen ([O III] 501nm), neutral hydrogen and singly ionized nitrogen (H-alpha+[N II] 658nm) and singly ionized sulfur ([S II] 672+673nm). These were combined into a color composite image, assigning blue to nitrogen, green to hydrogen and red to sulfur.

The image here is "just" a detail of the much larger overall nebula, which is about 300 light years across.

The rectangle shows approximately the area covered by the puzzle

There are many photos, and the colors vary all over the place depending on how the colors were assigned to different elements.

There are three areas of detail I am hi-lighting to show just how complicated and beautiful this area is.

1 - Eta Carinae The doomed star, Eta Carinae, with different coloration - a phenomenal explosion!
Just one puzzle piece in the puzzle!

The "double bubble" of Eta Carinae is barely visible in this piece (lower white area), the only egg piece in the puzzle

2 - Don't know the name for this area, it is near the "Keyhole" area of the Carina Nebula

Structure shows up mostly on one puzzle piece

3 - Dust Pillars of the Carina Nebula

Explanation from APOD published April 30, 2007: Inside the head of this interstellar monster is a star that is slowly destroying it. The monster, actually an inanimate pillar of gas and dust, measures over a light year in length. The star, not itself visible through the opaque dust, is bursting out partly by ejecting energetic beams of particles. Similar epic battles are being waged all over the star-forming Carina Nebula. The stars will win in the end, destroying their pillars of creation over the next 100,000 years, and resulting in a new open cluster of stars. The pink dots are newly formed stars that have already been freed from their birth monster. The above image is only a small part of a highly detailed panoramic mosaic of the Carina Nebula taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and released last week. The technical name for the stellar jets are Herbig-Haro objects. How a star creates Herbig-Haro jets is an ongoing topic of research, but it likely involves an accretion disk swirling around a central star. A second impressive Herbig-Haro jet is visible across the bottom.

Upper dust pillar visible to the left

Carina Nebula
NASA Photo
Date Completed
June 21, 2009
28.4" x 14"
Cutting Style
# Pieces
1003 (new record for Swirl Curl)
Color Line Cutting
Space Shuttle, Telescope, UFO

© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster

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